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psychologism

DAVID BELL


Subject Philosophy » Epistemology

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405139007.2010.x


Extract

With respect to a given subject-matter psychologism is the theory that the subject-matter in question can be reduced to, or explained in terms of, psychological phenomena: mental acts, events, states, dispositions and the like. Psychologism was widespread in both Britain and Germany during the latter half of the nineteenth century. It fell into disrepute at the beginning of the present century, however, largely as a result of the objections raised against it by two philosophers, Edmund Husserl ( see HUSSERL ) and Gottlob Frege ( see FREGE ) ( see Husserl, 1970 , passim ; Frege, 1974 , pp. i–xi). They attacked psychologism in logic and the foundations of mathematics by showing that a psychologistic theory could never account for the objectivity, the necessity, or the universality of the truths belonging to these disciplines. Ludwig Wittgenstein ( see WITTGENSTEIN ) continued this antipsychologistic tradition by arguing that even meaning and understanding should not be construed as species of mental act ( see Wittgenstein, 1953 , §§329, 541 and pp. 175–6). : The Foundations of Arithmetic , ( Oxford : Blackwell , 1974 ). : Logical Investigations , , vol. 1 , Prolegomena to Pure Logic ( London : Routledge and Kegan Paul , 1970 ). : Philosophical Investigations , ( Oxford : Blackwell , 1953 ). ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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